By Chelsea Karnash
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This January, a Philadelphia organization is bringing back one of the city’s most unique fundraisers.
The “Snowball,” a benefit for Philly dance company JUNK, will be held at the University of the Arts on Saturday, Jan. 19th. The event is now in its second year, and guests are encouraged to dress in white and spend the night participating in an indoor snowball fight, sipping winter cocktails and eating food prepared by some of the city’s best chefs.
The most anticipated portion of the fundraiser is a live performance from the company itself, choreographed by founder and artistic director Brian Sanders and often including impressive acrobatics.
“JUNK is an extension of my creative vision,” Sanders says. “I was always a choreographer and putting on shows since I was little. I also liked to use props and set pieces a lot. It just happened that, years later, when I set out to start my own company, all I had around was lots of stuff I had pulled out of the trash — the typical lifestyle of a struggling artist.”
That means utilizing actual trash – or “found objects” – in his company’s productions.
Sanders, who describes himself as “a bit of a dare-devil,” says his goal working with JUNK is to create “something unique and unexpected that gives us a new and inspiring look on life” – hence the incorporation of, well, junk.
So, what else can guests at the Snowball expect?
“Last year’s costumes for the ball were incredible — gowns made entirely from coffee filters and the like. Snowball is a celebration of creativity of every kind,” Sanders says.
Reflecting that sentiment, prizes will be awarded to those with the most creative attire and jewelry. A VIP reception will feature “junk food” created by Christina Wilson, the winner of Season 10 of “Hell’s Kitchen,” and Fishtown’s pizza museum/pizzeria Pizza Brain will be serving up slices of its trademark pies. Guests can also dance to DJ Chip Dish and participate in a silent art auction.
While the Snowball raises money for JUNK as a whole, the group stresses the importance of its mission to give back to the community. Sanders says JUNK is planning to launch a youth mentoring program called “SPARK,” designed to inspire and nurture the creativity of teens, in the summer of 2013, and they also offer free children’s shows, classes and open rehearsals in addition to their regular performances.
For tickets or more information on JUNK’s Snowball, visit: www.briansandersjunk.com
To watch a video about the Snowball, visit: https://vimeo.com/45679149